Building Chemistry

Building Chemistry

This course aims for an in-depth knowledge of various analytical methods. The application of methods of advanced chemistry, chemico-physical, mineralogical and instrumental analytical methods are taught in theory and deepend with additional lab course work. Focus lies on microscopic relationships and their high influence on macroscopic properties. This course aims to broaden the knowledge for complex correlations and the relationships between molecular and macro scale. Further critical examination of data and its origin, possible sources of errors should enable the students to analyze problems methodically.


Chemical processes are of fundamental importance in the manufacture and processing of building materials. For example, all hardening processes are controlled by chemical reactions. Building protection agents and coatings require complex, often organochemical compounds. Also during their service life, building materials are subjected to chemical stresses and attacks, be it by salt input, leaching or corrosion by different chemical agents.

The lecture and practical exercises aim to combine theory and practice. The chemical properties of the materials are demonstrated and corresponding reactions and changes due to externally attacking or acting influences are shown, analyzed and explained in great detail.

Means and methods to protect surfaces or to improve rheological properties are discussed.

The whole course conveys different material parameters from raw materials, secondary raw materials to highly synthesised materials. Coupled with the different laboratory environments at the WiB students will learn to choose different analytical methods to obtain valuable data and critically examine said data.

Chemical processes of building materials significantly influence the production, processing, and also the utilization phase of a building. Part of the lecture will be:

  • Chemical basics concerning air, water, corrosion, inorganic and organic building materials, binders, weathering processes, preservation and reservation methods
  • The dependence of material properties on their chemical composition
  • Which chemical reactions of external substances distort the balance of building structures

The lecture normally includes lab course work and field trip.


Professor Prof. Eddie Koenders
Supervision by: Dr. Chem. Ing. Neven Ukrainczyk
M.Sc. Oliver Vogt
M.Sc. Conrad Ballschmiede
Rotation Summer Semester
Requirements Bachelor course “Construction and Building Materials”
Credit Points 6 CP

Literature recommendations

Lecture content
O. Henning, D. Knöfel: “Baustoffchemie – Eine Einführung für Bauingenieure und Architekten”, Verlag für Bauwesen Berlin, 2002
R. Bendix: “Einführung in die Chemie für Bauingenieure”, Teubner Verlag, 2005
R. Karsten: “Bauchemie”, 11. Auflage, Verlag C. F. Müller, Karlsruhe 2002
T. L. Brown, H. E. LeMay: “Chemie – ein Lehrbuch für Naturwissenschaftler”, VCH Verlag, Weinheim, 1988
K. Scrivener, R. Snellings, B. Lothenbach: “A Practical Guide to Microstructural Analysis of Cementitious Materials”, Taylor & Francis Ltd; 2017